Episode 579 – Aussie Tech Heads Shownotes

posted in: Show Notes

Kogan Is Now Flogging Unlimited NBN Plans For $2 Per Day


offering three different plans at three different speeds. Here’s what they look like.

Bronze Unlimited: $58.90 per month (hence the ‘less than $2 per day angle they’re pushing) for unlimited data on NBN 12. This is the slowest of the speeds and is really only worth it for one connected device. On this plan you’ll experience a maximum connection speed of 12Mbps download and 1Mbps upload.

Silver Unlimited: Until June 30 Kogan is offering a $58.90 per month ‘launch price’ that will last for the first 24 months. The usual price is $68.90. This plan will get you unlimited data on NBN 50 and is recommended for 2 – 4 connected devices. You’ll be getting a maximum of 50Mbps download and 20Mbps upload speeds.

Gold Unlimited: $88.90 per month for unlimited data using NBN 100. This is the fastest plan and is designed for 4+ connected devices, with a maximum of 100Mbps download and 40Mbps upload.

you can’t bring your own modem

All plans incur a $69 upfront, obligatory modem charge

NBN Co to relaunch HFC

NBN Co is set to relaunch its wholesale hybrid fibre coaxial (HFC) services to retailers from 27 April, following the launch of fibre-to-the-curb (FTTC) yesterday.


NBN Co will flip a portion of its planned HFC network into the fibre-to-the-curb footprint but it will not abandon HFC altogether.  NBN Co will start by flipping 440,000 premises from HFC and FTTN over to the FTTC footprint.


The company is set to initially release some 1000 premises in its HFC access network footprint in Melbourne and Sydney, with another 38,000 to be released in June in select areas across Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth.


“NBN Co has undertaken considerable work on the HFC network ensuring network performance and stability has improved substantially and a better service experience will be made available to end-users,” the company said in a statement.


“We remain confident of reaching our goal of completing the build and connecting eight million Australian premises by 2020.”

Apple now will warn you if your Mac has old, 32-bit apps

will start alerting you if you have old Mac apps hanging around.

If you have the latest version of Apple’s MacOS software downloaded, you’ll get a warning when you open older apps that run on 32-bit technology.

Apple has been pushing developers to update their apps to 64-bit technology. That enables faster apps that can juggle large amounts of data more efficiently than the 32-bit processors common in older computers and mobile devices. Apple’s modern, underlying technology for its computers — such as its Metal graphics tool — work only with 64-bit apps, and the processors in its Macs have been 64-bit for years.

Apple started the move to 64-bit over a decade ago, and at its developer conference last year, it warned software makers that MacOS High Sierra, released in September, would be the last version of the operating system “to run 32-bit apps without compromise.” The next version of Apple’s MacOS software will still run 32-bit apps, but they won’t necessarily work as the developers intended.

If you want to see what apps on your Mac are 32-bit, you can click the Apple icon (the Apple Menu) at the top right of your toolbar, select “About This Mac” and then click the “System Report” button. Scroll down to “Software” and then choose “Applications.” Once you click on that, you can see all of the apps on your Mac. One of the columns, “64-Bit (Intel)” will say “No” if your app is still 32-bit.

NAB signs on to Google Pay

NAB has finally signed on to Google Pay, meaning that all of Australia’s big four banks now support the payment capability.


In a statement, NAB said that customers “can download the Google Pay app from the Play store, add their NAB debit and credit card, and make payments in stores, online, and with Google products.”


NAB said that the number of customers using mobile payments had been increasing “by around 20 percent” each quarter.

Mark Zuckerberg’s toughest questions in Facebook grilling


almost 10 hours of relentless questioning by 44 members of Congress over two days,


  1. Does Facebook track your internet activity outside the app?

I want to make sure I get this accurate, so it would probably be better to have my team follow up afterwards,” he said.

When pushed, he added this vague statement: “I know that people use cookies on the internet, and that you can probably correlate activity between sessions.”


  1. Will you commit to changing all default settings to minimise to the greatest extent possible the collection and use of users’ data?

Zuckerberg repeatedly pointed out that user could choose who they shared each post with, and edit their privacy settings, many members of Congress said the current system was far too opaque for the ordinary user.

The 33-year-old said he would introduce a new tool at the top of the app to allow users to make privacy and sharing choices


When New Jersey Congressman Frank Pallone pushed Mr Zuckerberg for a yes or no answer, the Facebook chief replied: “This is a complex issue that deserves more than a one-word answer.”

Mr Pallone: “That’s disappointing to me.”


Some of the questions were just plain silly. Senator Brian Schatz caused hilarity by repeatedly asking whether Facebook could see emails he sends on WhatsApp. You cannot send emails on WhatsApp — plus, it is encrypted.

Orrin Hatch questioned: “How do you sustain a business model in which users don’t pay for your service?”

A deadpan Mr Zuckerberg replied: “Senator, we run ads.”





While some banks are still trying to direct their customers to use their custom Tap & Pay solutions, ANZ bank has started advising customers they are shutting down their ANZ Pay app, directing users to use either Google Pay or Samsung Pay.


ANZ Bank has been fast to offer their customers options for using NFC to pay for things, first launching their own Tap & Pay app in 2016. Since then ANZ Bank was a launch partner for Google Pay, and also offered Samsung Pay to their customers fairly early on.


With Samsung Pay and Google Pay surging in popularity, ANZ has advised that it’s the end for the ANZ Pay app, advising customers via email, and through the app that as of May 14th this year, ANZ Pay will no longer work.


While Google Pay works with any smartphone with NFC running Android 4.4 and above, Samsung Pay does require a compatible Samsung Galaxy phone or Gear smartwatch to work.



The Google Phone app received a major update in February that added a convenient chat head for quick in-call controls. In the coming weeks, the default dialer for Pixel, Nexus, and Android One devices is adding spam filtering, with a new beta program to try the feature out now.

In 2016, the app began alerting users to potential spam callers by flashing the incoming call screen bright red, with another “Suspected spam caller” alert just underneath the phone number.


The new spam filtering feature goes a step further by no longer bothering you. When a potential spam call is detected, it will be sent straight to voicemail. As such, the phone will not ring and you won’t be interrupted.


Meanwhile, users will not receive a missed call or voicemail notification, though filtered calls will appear in call history and any voicemails left will still show up in that respective tab.


This feature is rolling out worldwide over the next few weeks, but those who join the new beta will have initial access to it. Like its other programs, Google notes that the test allows you to use experimental features before they’re released.


Google warns that features will still be in-development, might be unstable, and have “a few problems.” Meanwhile, users will have the ability to submit in-app feedback throughout the process. Head to the Google Play listing for the Phone app and scroll down to “Become a tester” in order to join.


Drivers in Dubai may soon be using digital number plates under new plans.


In a trial starting next month, vehicles will be fitted with smart plates with digital screens, GPS and transmitters.


The new plates will be able to inform emergency services if a driver has an accident.


Dubai has recently spearheaded a number of new transport initiatives as it seeks to become an international technology hub.

According to Sultan Abdullah al-Marzouqi, the head of the Vehicle Licensing Department at Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), the plates will make life easier for drivers in Dubai.


As well as contacting the police and ambulance services if the vehicle is involved in a collision, the technology allows real-time communication with other drivers about traffic conditions or any accidents ahead.


The number plates can also change to display an alert if the vehicle or digital plate is stolen.


Payment for fines, parking fees or renewing registration plates will be automatically deducted from users’ accounts. Number plates can also be changed using the RTA’s app or website.


Spotify Technology is developing a new version of its free music service, the first big product change since the streaming company went public last week, according to people familiar with the matter.


The company is tweaking the free service to make it easier to use, especially for customers on mobile phones, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans are still private. An announcement is expected within a couple weeks.

Spotify needs to attract large numbers of new listeners to satisfy investors who value the newly public company based on user growth. The free service generates customers that the company can steer into its paid offerings. The paid version accounts for less than half of Spotify’s customer base, but generated about 90 percent of its 4.09 billion euros in 2017 revenue.


This model has worked well. Stockholm-based Spotify had 157 million user at the end of 2017, including 71 million paid subscribers. That’s the most of any online music service. The growth of paid streaming has boosted music industry sales for three years in a row.


With the updated service, free mobile listeners will be able to access playlists more quickly and have more control over what songs they hear on top playlists, mimicking Spotify’s ad-free subscription product. The basic package is $9.99 a month.


Spotify expects to reach about 200 million users by the end of the year, and as many as 96 million subscribers, according to a March forecast. Technology giants Amazon.com Inc., Apple Inc. and Alphabet Inc. are all vying for a larger share of the music subscription market.



VirnetX Holding Corp. won $502.6 million against Apple Inc. after a federal jury in Texas said the maker of iPhones was infringing patents for secure communications, the latest twist in a dispute now in its eighth year.

VirnetX’s stock rose as much as 44 percent on the news in after hours trading. The company closed at $4.10 per share on Tuesday.

Apple’s stock has seen little change on the news given that the $502.6 million award is minuscule compared to the company’s profits. The company generated $20 billion profit in the first quarter, the company said in February.

VirnetX claimed that Apple’s FaceTime, VPN on Demand and iMessage features infringe four patents related to secure communications, claims that Apple denied.

The dispute has bounced between the district court, patent office and Federal Circuit since 2010. There have been multiple trials, most recently one involving earlier versions of the Apple devices. A jury in that case awarded $302 million that a judge later increased to $439.7 million.

Kendall Larsen , CEO of VirnetX, said the damages, which were based on sales of more than 400 million Apple devices, were “fair.”

“The evidence was clear,” Larsen said after the verdict was announced. “Tell the truth and you don’t have to worry about anything.”

Apple lawyers declined to comment.